What’s Happening: Chinese automotive OEM Dongfeng Motor (DFM) has introduced two new passenger cars powered by ProteanDrive Pd18 in-wheel motors. The E70, the world’s first fully homologated passenger car with ProteanDrive, and the Voyah Zhuiguang, a luxury sedan, were unveiled at a ceremony in Wuxi, co-hosted by DFM and Weifu Electric Drive Technology (WFDT), a joint venture between Weifu and Protean Electric.
Why It Matters: The use of ProteanDrive in-wheel motor technology in these vehicles highlights the potential for improved space, acceleration, and cornering speed on existing vehicle platforms. It also demonstrates the increasing adoption of advanced electric drivetrain solutions in the automotive industry.
- The ProteanDrive Pd18 in-wheel motors applied to the E70 platform result in a high-performing all-wheel drive option with limited design changes and a short development cycle.
- The E70 with ProteanDrive is lighter and more efficient than an all-wheel drive model powered by e-axles, with increased storage space of 50% and a 0-100 kph acceleration time reduced by 42%.
- The ProteanDrive system enables torque vectoring, providing an 18% increase in cornering speed under extreme driving conditions and improving the dynamics, maneuverability, and active safety while reducing the number of parts in the vehicle by 83.
- DFM successfully homologated the E70 as the world’s first passenger car driven by in-wheel motors in December 2022.
- The Voyah Zhuiguang is the first sedan product of the Voyah brand, a flagship luxury electric vehicle.
- DFM has collaborated with Protean since 2016 and signed a Partnership and Cooperation Framework Agreement with Weifu and Protean in March 2022 to fit ProteanDrive in-wheel motor products on multiple vehicle models.
Bottom Line: The launch of the E70 and Voyah Zhuiguang marks a significant milestone in the partnership between DFM, Weifu, and Protean, demonstrating the potential for in-wheel motors to make vehicle platforms more flexible and modular for OEMs. The integration of ProteanDrive technology in these vehicles offers consumers improved interior space, enhanced driving experiences, and a range of other benefits, while also furthering the industrialization of in-wheel motors.